Fancy Bazar Defies Coronavirus Scare, Celebrate Holi with Vigour

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Fancy Bazar Defies Coronavirus Scare, Celebrate Holi with Vigour

Saumya Mishra | March 14, 2020 15:03 hrs

Notwithstanding the coronavirus scare, people in Guwahati did not hold themselves back while playing Holi this year.

Hundreds of Guwahatians thronged the streets with gusto to celebrate the festival of colours. Fancy Bazar saw a large scale gathering of people at the main market area on the day of Holi where people were seen celebrating the festival with enthusiasm. 
  
“It is a tradition every year where thousands of people take to the streets to play Holi on the main roads of the Fancy Bazar market. Even though there was a general sense of fear among people due to the outbreak of coronavirus, it hardly had any impact on this part of the city as the area saw a huge turnout of people to celebrate the festival,” a resident of Athgaon told G Plus. 

Another Guwahatian, Dimpy Borah said, “I had earlier thought of staying at home and not playing Holi this time around to take preventive steps for coronavirus. But later during the day, when I saw that all of my friends were celebrating, I couldn’t resist the urge to play with colours with them.”  
        
It is to be mentioned that till Friday, March 13, a total of 75 cases were found positive for the disease in India while the country recorded the first fatality in Kerala.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the disease as a pandemic looking at the global number of incidences and fatalities that have occurred due to the disease. However, no positive case of the disease has been reported in Assam.  
          
Guwahati usually witnesses a two-day Holi celebration with people taking part in the celebrations on both the days. However, the city saw empty roads on the first day of the festival with hardly anyone taking to the streets to play with colours.
 
Further, G Plus recently conducted a poll on its social channels a few days prior to Holi and asked its readers if they planned to celebrate Holi with colours this time. A majority (72 per cent) of the 3,100 people who took part in the poll, had said that they will not be attending large gatherings while 28 per cent said that they will be playing Holi.           

A few respondents said that people should stay away from colours this time since they feel that they are imported from China.

“Nobody should play because the colours are usually cheap and imported from China I guess,” remarked Neha Jalan, a resident of Guwahati.

On the other hand, a few students commented that they will not be playing Holi because of the ongoing examinations.  
   
Another respondent said, “It is better to be safe than sorry and I along with my family are taking precautions this year due to coronavirus. We will not be celebrating in huge gatherings and crowded places and will have a small celebration in our home with close friends and family members.”  
    
On the other hand, however, Sushma Dey, a resident of Chandmari said that even though it is important to take measures to protect oneself, children are most excited to play Holi. “Since the festival comes once a year, my daughter is looking forward to it. But we will definitely take precautions.”    

Additionally, the Coronavirus scare majorly affected the Holi market in Guwahati with traders witnessing a dip in sales this year.

Several shopkeepers in the Fancy Bazar area in Guwahati told G Plus that their sales were badly affected.

“This time around, there was a panic among people and they are avoiding buying Holi colours. My profit has declined by as much as 80 per cent this time around,” mentioned Santosh Das, a trader in Fancy Bazar who sells Holi colours and water guns.
  
He added that his sales had not picked up despite setting up his shop for three days.

“The buyers were asking several questions related to the procurement of the colours as they felt that we get Holi colours and other items from China. Whereas that is not the case, we procure the stock from places like Delhi, Jaipur and different places in Assam,” said another trader in Fancy Bazar.

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